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09-21-2009, 06:31 AM #1
$20 unlimited iPhone calling from AT&T 3G MicroCell?
Image via SlashGear
Late last night our friends at Apple Insider reported that AT&T customers who reside in poor service areas may soon have the option to pay $20 to obtain unlimited calling over 3G using their own Internet access.
AT&T hasn't yet set a retail price on its forthcoming new 3G MicroCell appliance, which connects to your existing Internet to supply local 3G voice, SMS/MMS, and data coverage for nearby AT&T customers. However, a report by Engadget Mobile attributed to an anonymous tipster says that the company plans to offer an unlimited calling plan for users for $20 per month.
Bundled with AT&T-supplied Internet (if available in your area), the monthly fee drops to $10, and with AT&T Internet and landline service (if you also pay to have one of those old plug-in type phones), the monthly fee goes away entirely.
It all points to additional evidence that carriers are opting to rely on femtocells to increase consumer coverage and satisfaction rather than investing further in beefing up already overloaded networks.
The 3G MicroCell does not create a VoIP alternative to AT&T's network; it simply tunnels 3G voice and data over the user's existing broadband Internet service to AT&T's servers, which process it like any other call handled by its existing 3G cell towers.
It's not clear if the monthly fee for unlimited wireless calling through the device will be mandatory in order to obtain the 3G MicroCell device. According to the photo of official looking marketing collateral included in the report, "3G phones connected to the MicroCell without AT&T Unlimited MicroCell Calling continue to use existing plan minutes."
09-21-2009, 07:06 AM #2
I'll definitely be getting it as I live in a dead zone.
09-21-2009, 07:10 AM #3
figures, instead of spendin some of our hard earned money that we spend on thier already expensive service to put up new towers, they're gonna charge customers more money for this lil gadget. bend over, here comes the mailman with an even bigger bill this month for ya. thanks at&t, but no thanks!! what they spent on R&D for this thing i bet they could have put up a few more towers!!
09-21-2009, 07:20 AM #4
Im gonna try to get it for free for being a loyal customer living in dead zone for years. Atleast for a month to test it out.
09-21-2009, 08:07 AM #5
09-21-2009, 08:12 AM #6
Sure, putting up a few more towers might solve dead-zone problems for some people, but not all. This won't be the end-all solution but it at least will work for more people. Besides, it's not just about getting better signal. It's 3G boost and unlimited calling!
09-21-2009, 08:13 AM #7
Typical carrier BS
If this is a cheaper alternative to building more towers then by all means go this route AT&T. Give out the devices to all your current PAYING customers with poor home coverage FOR FREE no matter what services they pay for at home. Put the billions we pay you into supporting these small devices. Do not charge us MORE for a technology you advertise as working when for some it obviously does not.
Just to get this correct I pay about $49 give or take not including taxes and other frivolous charges for the cheapest bucket of minutes on your nationwide cell plan. Now if I get poor coverage at home you want me to pay $20 more if I don't have your package deal just to get the service to work at home? Well then why am I paying you $49 a month? Oh, that's right for "more bars in more places" service... So I guess that tag should now change to "more bars in more places including home!""To unpathed waters, undreamed shores." -- William Shakespeare
09-21-2009, 08:19 AM #8
This should definately be something that is a little cheaper for paying att customers. It is just a 2100 mhz wifi router. DIRT cheap!This is getting a lil' ridiculous...
09-21-2009, 08:26 AM #9
this is the exact reason why i won't upgrade to a new iphone.. i refuse to sign another two year contract with att.. their service is expensive and unbelievably spotty and they try to get even more money out of you by crap like this instead of trying to improve their services.
09-21-2009, 08:51 AM #10
09-21-2009, 09:15 AM #11
I have such a ****** reception at my house and I'm in the middle of the city. Move away 100 yards from my house and reception is perfect.
I plan to ask for one for free. I have AT&T wireless, TV and Internet. I am not paying extra to get the iphone working correctly at my house.
09-21-2009, 09:16 AM #12
If I dont get good solid 3G coverage, I try to avoid that area...
I cant see how one would live or work in dead zone, thats just crazy!
09-21-2009, 09:50 AM #13Why do you all ***** and complain about service when you have other options?!?!?!?
09-21-2009, 09:51 AM #14
Not to mention this stacks on top of your internet bill if you aren't an ATT internet customer.
Does this mean if I get one of these the guy next door (that also potentially has poor reception with his iphone) will be able to jump on my 3gmicrocell? Then he is technically using MY internet bandwith.
Will this this have even minimal security features buit in? like MAC filtering etc....
...no thank you. I wouldn't pay $2 a month for this thing
09-21-2009, 09:52 AM #15
09-21-2009, 10:02 AM #16
well i don't need the $20 unlimited plan, so i'm interested to see how much they are going to charge for just getting the unit with the basic plan..
key phrase: you can allow access
Last edited by Rescuer; 09-21-2009 at 10:04 AM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
09-21-2009, 10:22 AM #17
The point is that AT&T is charging you for providing service that they are getting paid for. On top of that, this service that you are paying for has the potential to cost you even more money. AT&T should be paying you to provide this access, not the other way around.
The power company doesn't charge you to feed power from your over-productive solar panels back to the grid (in fact, in most applications, your meter runs backwards!), so why should AT&T charge you to provide their service for them.
Don't get me wrong. The idea is a good one. But they should not be charging you for using it, they should be paying you. Charging you an additional $20 for a) being able to use service that you ALREADY pay for and b) getting unlimited usage which you may ALREADY pay for, is, simply put, typical AT&T scamming.
09-21-2009, 10:27 AM #18
I'm a bit confused as to how this technology works. if it is simply a signal booster or a range extender, then why does it need to be connected to the Internet at all? range boosters have been out for years, and all the do is provide a stronger antennae and rebroadcast the signal. In fact I beleive you can find plans to make one on the Internet. so why even pay money on something like this?
09-21-2009, 10:36 AM #19
-VZW coverage is the same as AT&T but they are CDMA and I depend on GSM networks for global service
-TMobile coverage is terrible and spotty in my area
-Sprint is worse than TMobile and no GSM
-Pay as you go carriers have small and limited coverage, I use my cell daily so would not save much with this option
What am I left with for my specific needs? No choice but AT&T. Now they want to charge their paying customers for their 3G network shortcomings and save some money while they are at it. Other carriers do this and it is not right."To unpathed waters, undreamed shores." -- William Shakespeare
09-21-2009, 10:37 AM #20